Fire Behaviour Knowledge Base






Background Information


The Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction System allows fire managers to predict the rate of spread, fuel consumption and fire intensity of wildland fires in 16 different discrete fuel complexes. Invariably, local fuel complexes do not match one of the standardized fuel types. Across Canada , there are an almost infinite number of fuel types, and the recent trend towards engineered fuel complexes (thinned and/or pruned) poses a different and equally complicated problem.

The primary goal of the FBKB project was to develop a searchable fire behavior database, in which users define search parameters based on their own fuel complex. Fire Mangers then look through pictures of fuels and select those that match their particular situation. The selected fuel complex observations can then be reviewed; the numerical data (weather, fuel loads, and fire behavior), any pictures or video that was recorded before, during and after the fire; and plots the data against existing fire behavior models.

Linked to the primary goal was the idea of providing fire managers with a forum to share knowledge, and observations of fire behavior. If someone encounters a fuel type they have not seen before, they can consult the database to see what other professionals have recorded about this fuel. If there are little or no observations, then the fire manager can record their own fuel, weather, and fire behavior observations and submit them for inclusion in the master database for all to view and benefit from.

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Steve Taylor. NRCan-CFS-Pacific Forestry Centre and Science North, Sudbury. 2001 .

FBKB Graph - Build-Up Index vs. Surface Fule Consumption